If you have been told by Dr. Sonny Kim or another dentist that you are not a candidate for dental implants because of poor jawbone health, it does not automatically eliminate you from dental implants entirely. It may mean that you need to receive additional—or supplemental—treatments before the implant process can begin.
What is a Supplemental Treatment?
A supplemental treatment is a procedure or treatment that improves the condition of your oral health in preparation for another procedure. For dental implants, a supplemental treatment can mean intensive cleanings, or recovery from tooth decay or gum disease. Most commonly, it is a means to help the mouth regain good jawbone or gum tissue health in order to provide sufficient support for the dental implant. If there is too little bone in the jawbone, the implant could shift, break or fall out.
Most Common Supplemental Treatments
The two most common supplemental treatments for dental implants are:
Bone Regeneration and Grafts
To recover from jawbone depletion, new bone material must be introduced to the site. Most often, this only requires a sampling of bone granules in order to trigger bone regeneration, though in rare cases a larger sample may be needed.
Once this new bone material is placed, it is left alone to heal. Depending on the size of the graft, this supplemental procedure may be done at the same time as the implant surgery.
Soft Tissue Augmentation
Like jaw bone, gum tissue is also needed to offer good dental implant support. If a patient has suffered from periodontal disease in the past, their gums may have receded or may be too tender due to the disease. A soft tissue augmentation transfers new tissue to the damaged areas of your gums and help them recover from the effects of gum disease. This also helps you implant look even more natural since it will be secured with healthy gum tissue.